Health

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There are many things we can do to make the world a better place. One of them is to prevent youths from drug use and substance abuse. It is a parent’s concern as well as society’s problem because it does affect everyone.

According to www.cdc.gov, in the U.S. 66.2% of teens has had at least one drink of alcohol in their life. It is not surprising because teens are influenced by peer pressures and social expectations. About 40.7% of teens had use marijuana once or more during their life. This statistic could be so high due to the fact that many people perceived marijuana as ’safe’ to use. Also, 22.1% of teens has been offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property. Drug and substance use for many people and teens are easy way out of situations like dealing with stress, making a reputation, developing their image, trying to find their place in life, etc.

pastyearvariousdrugs

http://www.drugabuse.gov

Most of the time drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc., are not sought out by teens, but they receive or are introduced to them through a friend or a family member. It is those connections that we can’t stop because it is up to the individuals to accept or decline the offer. It is not about whether what is safer to use and what are the ‘acceptable’ risks. What we want is to prevent any possible harm that come onto the user’s health and others as well.

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There’s a saying that “you are what you eat”. Often time, people don’t realize that part of being healthy is eating healthy and it is in our human nature to want to eat yummy delicious food. Unhealthy food that are fried, loaded with fat, sodium, and have too much sugar can cause you to feel sick inside and out. That is why it isn’t ideal to eat out often or eat junk food on a daily basis because it does affect your health. Also, eating a limited range of foods doesn’t give you proper nutrients, it can contribute to obesity, and body related diseases. So it is up to you to determine how your body can become more healthy or unhealthy. It doesn’t take much, but for you to realize what you’re putting in your body.

Tip 1: Cook your own food. Even if your food isn’t organic, you can wash it multiple times and cook it properly. Also, you know what you’re eating, how much you’re consuming, and what you put in it. So you would know what’s in it compared to eating something that was prepared unseen.

Tip 2: Balance your eating habits. It’s ideal to have at least 3 proper meals a day, but eating snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner can actually benefit you. It’s because you won’t feel the need to eat more when you’re less hungry and your body will crave less. You may consume more calories here and there, but remember these are snacks, not a small meal. So just be careful of what you are snacking on.

Tip 3: Have varieties in your dishes. This means that keep your diet full of different fruits, veggies, carbs, proteins, and such. If you’re stuck on a certain carb like bread or rice, make sure to mix it up and add some color. You’ll enjoy eating something more with colors and textures.

Tip 4: Cut down on eating junk food. We all have some cravings at some point, but we can always try to decrease having them slowly. If you’re eating a donut today, maybe wait another 3 or 4 days to indulge again. It’s all about that balance you want to find and keep up.

Top 5: Drink water most of the time. If not, all the time. We all know pop, juices, mochas, frappes, and those other drinks have high levels of sugar. We can have them once in a while, but the body doesn’t need all that unhealthy sugar. Water can promote better circulation of fluids in the body as well as keep you hydrated throughout the day. Remember that our body does contain 50-60% of water. That’s a lot of water require to make your body function properly.

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Teen_Pregnancy_thoughtsBy Patricia Thao

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Ever thought about going green? If every person can do something for the Earth, we would greatly reduce our impact on the environment. It’s important to be aware of our human footprints because we can’t use too much of the limited natural resources. Over-production, harmful chemicals, un-recyclable products, and trashes has damaged our Earth and will continue to harm our environment. It has dramatically affected animals and plants in terms of their homes and their own species. Therefore, it is better and wise for people to try to save the Earth by using sustainable and recyclable resources.

Globe Goes Green Icon Finalhttp://www.urbanone.com/

  • Bring your own recyclable/fabric bags to shop for groceries. It will help reduce plastic waste in the environment and you can use it over and over again. If it’s too much, there is the alternative to use the store provided paper bags.
  • Recycle what you can! Don’t forget about recycling common things such as papers, cans, cardboards, electronics, etc.
  • Purchase organic food when possible and support your local grocery stores/farmers. Not everyone can afford organic food since it is pricier in the U.S. But when possible, it is best to support those who have or produce chemical/hormone free products. It will be beneficial to your body as there is no/less toxins/chemicals/hormones that could affect your health.
  • Carpool with people or ride public transportation. It will help reduce the amount of carbon monoxide a.k.a the gas automobiles produce when burning gas, to transfer into the atmosphere. We can all decrease the rate of global warming by sharing vehicles.
  • Grow your own produces! If you have a green thumb or want to help the environment, it is always possible to have your own little garden. Seeds are widely available in great prices and it doesn’t take much time or space to plant them. You don’t have to be an expert at gardening, but just have the time and patience.
  • Compost your food waste. It would bring great fertile soil to your garden and you would not have to worry about wasting food. It’s not necessary, but will help decrease food waste in the environment.
  • Do chores the old fashion way! Sweep the floor with a broom, air dry your clothes if possible, and wash your dishes instead of using a dishwasher, etc. It is more time consuming and takes more energy, but it’ll be worth it.
  • Use energy saving objects in your daily life. It’s great to have or buy products that has energy saving features such as compact fluorescent bulb, energy efficient appliances, extra insulation, insulating blinds, solar panels, storm doors and windows, and water saving fixtures.
  • Reduce your water consumption. It’s great that we are provided with clean waters to use and drink. But it does come with a price because clean water doesn’t come for free. About 70% of Earth is covered in water and approximately 97% of it is salt water. We can’t drink salt water so it’s wise for us to conserve our fresh water as much as possible and not put harmful pollution in them.
  • Make things from scratch! You can always make things from scratch if you really don’t want any harmful things in your food/clothes/things. It can be quite hard to find the resources, but a fun project to try out. And it doesn’t have to be anything amazingly hard to do/make.
  • Have you thought about your own human footprint? Here is a website that lets you take a quiz to determine how many Earths necessary to support everyone if they followed your steps: http://myfootprint.org/

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Drug Postcard 10

DrugAbuse

Substance Abuse 1

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“Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.”

-http://www.cdc.gov

Have you ever wonder why so much teens are part of the overall population who smokes tobacco? It is an issue that people, programs, and campaigns have been trying to prevent because of the health issues related to tobacco. Despite the strong emphasis that tobacco use is dangerous, why exactly are teens still continuing to do it?

Well, here are some possible reasons why:

  • Access to tobacco resources. Whether it’s someone they know or a specific place that they can purchase it, illegal exchanges and distribution are widely spread in the U.S. Teens may have a lot of connections such as a dealer, friends, family, etc., that allows them to have the substance.
  • Peer pressure. Teens are easily pressured to grow up by society and people. Those who are older or ‘experienced’ consider themselves highly upon others who have not tried it. So that is why teens are influenced to fit in with everyone by doing what the ‘experienced’ group want. (And this extends more than tobacco).
  • Trying too hard to be living the ’stereotype’ teenage life. We all know that there are stereotypes of what American teens should behave like: being rebellious, crazy, wild, party animals, and unpredictable. It is how society project the way teens should act like: partying, having early intercourse, doing drugs, and drinking underage. When teens see those things, they start to accept it and think they should act like that. So some teens may want to live up to those stereotypes because they think that in order to experience the ‘teenage life’, that it is the correct way. (Which it is incorrectly presented and too overrated.) Maybe it’s time for everyone to change their mindset on how they can experience teen life?
  • Person pleaser. Sometimes, it’s the individual who is a person who can’t stand up for themselves and other teens take advantage of that. When someone is a person pleaser, they’re easily targeted and do things that they may not want to do. There might be some fear involved that they may lose their friends or judged or not fit in or are afraid and cannot speak up.
  • Some teens simply don’t care. Not everyone pays attention to the health risks of using tobacco or don’t care at all. There is not much we can do for them because it is their choice after all. We can advise teens in hope to decrease the amount of teen tobacco users, but at the end of day, it’s up to them to decide.
  • Stress? Stress can vary from mild to bad, but teens may turn to more dangerous routes to cope with it. There are other available options to deal with stress. But some teens would not want to discuss about it with someone or try another positive alternative.
  • Want to try tobacco? Teens are curious about a lot of things and that is both a good and bad thing. In reality, it is not like teens don’t know using tobacco can harm their body. Some use the excuse of how they just want to ‘try’. We can’t stop their curiosity and decisions when it comes to health related matters. We can only educate them best about the risks.
  • Outside influence. Besides the usually circle of friends and family, there are outside influence that causes teens to want to use tobacco. For example, influential people and things such as celebrities, movies, music, magazines, etc. Those kinds of things does put an image in teens’ heads that it’s socially, culturally accepted. Yes, people in the U.S. are allowed to smoke at the age of a legal adult. But it doesn’t apply to the underage population.
  • Some teens/kids start younger than expected. And it means kids younger than high school age do use tobacco too. This is a huge problem because that means tobacco use is spreading onto younger kids everyday. It is likely that these younger generations may not realize the larger consequences of using tobacco. And, young tobacco users are more likely to continue when they’re in high school and possibly after it. “In 2012, 6.7% of middle school and 23.3% of high school students currently used tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, snus, smokeless tobacco, pipes, bidis, keteks, dissolvable tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.” – http://www.cdc.gov/
  • It could be addiction? Some teens don’t know that tobacco contains harmful chemicals such as nicotine. A substance that is founded to be addictive and could cause nicotine addiction. So that is why it’s hard for people to stop using tobacco. There are those teens who are not aware that tobacco addiction is both a mental and health issue that needs help.

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Page_SpringAllergiesAreHere

http://www.vailranchpharmacy.com/

Be aware of coming spring weather! Although it is nice that the weather is getting warmer, be alert for allergies. Not everyone have allergies and some people may not even know they have it. If you have allergies, don’t worry much it’s not because you’re sick.

So what is an allergy? It is a unusual reaction from the immune system to harmless foreign substances. Therefore, those with allergies should prevent from being near those things.

What are the symptoms? Most common symptoms to determine if you’re allergic to something includes runny nose, hives, red eyes, itchiness, irritated skin, and an asthma attack. Of course, keep in mind that not everyone’s symptoms are the same. Some symptoms are more severe than others while some may experience mild reactions.

How can it be treated? People can have easy access to treatment by buying over the counter pills. Those pills usually help lessen or prevent the symptoms from affecting you. A doctor could prescribe specific medications to you if it’s more severe.

What are some things that people are allergic to?

  • pollen
  • dust mites
  • poison contact (poison ivy, etc.)
  • mold
  • foods (peanut, nuts, etc.)
  • animal foods
  • dust
  • latex
  • animals (cat, dog, fish, etc.)
  • gluten (wheat, grains, bread, etc.)
  • water
  • sun exposure

allergies

http://blogs.longwood.edu

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After eating, we don’t usually reflect on it. Although some people do because each kinds of food contains different levels of sugar, protein, nutrition, and more. You want to be in control of your food intake because it has a direct relationship with your overall health. Even eating differently whether it’s good or bad, it may change your body. Therefore, it is wise to make sure you eat enough or the right amount of food.

eatwellplatelarge2

  • Don’t always or eat the same thing too much. Whether its a type of food, sweet, or snack, it is not good for your body to lack specific nutrients that comes from other food. There are tons of food out there can meet your criteria of someone who likes organics or someone who is a vegan. So make sure you eat a variety of food.
  • Don’t overeat! Your stomach can only stretch so much in a certain amount of time. If you overeat, you might end up puking it out because your stomach will dispense food if there’s too much inside of it. Remember that your stomach can only digest an amount of food; therefore, it’s not endless supply of space.
  • Don’t use food as a comfort! Another way to describe this is binge eating: a disorder that describes how some people deal with stress or emotions by consuming a great amount of food. Usually it is for comfort and it can go onto be a continuous cycle.
  • Don’t eat because you just want to! Okay, so you may be bored, may have nothing to do, or you just feel like it, but it doesn’t mean you need to eat it! We all have cravings, but it’s not necessary to eat food when you are clearly not starving/hungry.
  • Eat your cravings a little each day. Or every two to three days. If you can satisfy your cravings, you won’t feel the need to consume a great amount when you can have some.
  • Be wise about the portions you take in. We are all probably guilty of this one because there were times where we ate way too much. Whether it’s chips, hot-dogs, fries, donuts, chocolates, etc., try to be reasonable with your portions. Think about what you need to eat on your plate (protein, veggies, fruits, etc.) versus what you want to eat.
  • If you don’t want to eat certain food but is lacking nutrients in other areas, you can always take daily vitamin pills. It is another alternative instead of consuming the actual food. But it does not mean you should not eat at all.
  • Don’t ever try to lose weight by starving or gain weight by eating unhealthy food. There are proper ways to do both. You can eat food that have fattier content that are found in salmon, avocado, olives, etc. Or eat less fatty food such as fruits, veggies, chicken, turkey, etc.

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Teen Pregnancy Factsheet

TBRates-Hisp2000-2011http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/LongDescriptors.htm

Statistics

  • According to the CDC, 329,797 babies were born to women aged 15-19 in 2011 in the United States.
  • However, 2011 was also the year of lowest recorded birthrate in 70 years of tracking adolescent childbirth.
  • But the U.S. rate of adolescent pregnancy is still the highest amongst the most developed countries in the world, and is twice as high as the rates in Australia and Canada.
  • Approximately 82% of teen pregnancies are unintended, and they accounted for 1/5th of all accidental pregnancies in the U.S. in 2006, according to Planned Parenthood.
  • There are also many racial disparities in teen pregnancy, seen on the right (from the CDC).
  • Adolescent mothers are: more likely to have lower family incomes, more likely to be poor and receive public assistance, likely to be less educated, less likely to get married.

Preventing Pregnancy

  • Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and risk of pregnancy.
  • However, some adolescents may choose to engage in intercourse, which is totally fine!
  • There are several ways to protect yourself, but they have varying degrees of successful prevention.
  • These are only a few ways to reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are several other options not shown to the left, and it’s very important to find out which one is the best option for you. Whether it fits into your lifestyle, its convenience, its effectiveness, its cost and whether it is a safe option for you are crucial considerations.

pregnancy protection

In the Event of Pregnancy

  • Solutions to the pregnancy that teens commonly choose are adoption, abortion, or keeping the baby. It is crucial to decide which one is the best option for you and your family, should you decide to involve them.
  • Abortion is an option and does not make you any less moral should you choose to take it.
  • If you choose to keep the baby, you do not have to give up on a college education. You might have family willing to take the baby in, but there are options to get into college even if you choose to care for it yourself.
  • Teen mothers are often shamed for having engaged in sexual intercourse, however it is not your fault and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s important to build a supportive network of people who understand this.
  • How you handle the pregnancy is your choice, and you get the final say.

Things to Remember

  • Be aware of the risks of intercourse and take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy.
  • Practice safe and consensual sex! Only engage in it when you and your partner feel emotionally prepared.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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